Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cheaters sometimes prosper. And on a totally different tangent, Jeannie gets a NEW CAR!

Well...New England won the big game. Or to put it more accurately, Seattle GAVE it to them with that INSANE pass play at the 1/2 yard line with 20 seconds left (and one of the best running backs in the game on their team). I can't freaking believe it.I'm mortified, dismayed, disgusted, baffled, and even a bit miffed if you will.

Yep. The cheaters won. And even though everybody is downplaying deflategate, it IS a big deal. I used to play a lot of football in my younger days, and back in VA in the fall when it's cold out, that football is ROCK HARD trying to catch it (and it hurts too). Just a pound or so less air makes a HUGE difference in cold weather. And as for the game against the Ravens, 11 out of 12 of them low? SOMEBODY on that organization did that on purpose. And I don't for a moment believe that Brady didn't' know about it. And of COURSE he denied it when asked directly. Like he would have said "of course I told him (or whoever) to let some air out". It's like Lance denying his doping. Of COURSE they deny it. They HAVE to. Had Brady said yes, then I think they would have forfeited that game (which I believe the NFL should have done anyway after discovering the lower pressures at half-time).

It can be argued seven ways to Sunday that it didn't matter, that they (NE) won the game by a large margin, etc etc. Doesn't matter. They CHEATED and got caught. And now they're Superbowl Champions. Again. And eventually some lackey will be saddled with the crime, it will be worded to sound like an accident or misunderstanding, and the NFL will hope it dies there (much like the UCI had their head in the sand on doping, hoping it would just go away).

Dang you Seattle...don't know who called that stupid play on the goal line, whether it was Carrol or the Offensive Coordinator...but I can't for the life of me fathom why you don't go with Lynch...they had time for at least 2 tries, likely 3 (I think they still had 2 time outs, or was it just 1?)...and it's not like he can't get 1 to 3 yards 19 out of 20 times. Only needed 1/2 for crying out loud...that game was in the bag, and the Cheaters would have lost. The universe is now tilted on it's axis and needs some magic to right its-self. I'm just so disgusted. Which is sad, as all in all it was a pretty good game, and it came down to the final 30 seconds to decide...which is about all you can ask for in a football game.

OK...I've ranted on that. It's just a game and it's history. On to part II of this post: Jeannies NEW CAR!

Here's the background. Last August or so she finally decided to turn her beloved 91 Dodge Stealth over to the state (into a dismantling shop to be precise) for $1000 due to it's inability to pass CA smog testing without getting a new engine. I thought she should just go for the rebuilt engine (it would have cost about $5 grand total for the removal, stripping of necessary parts to transfer over, and the new engine being put in with the shifting of parts). She then has her car for the next 8 years while we are here in CA until I retire. Then we will likely move to Richmond VA (to be closer to her twin brother) and she will then NEED a car. Here she walks to work most days, and only occasionally needs a car (and we have a friends old Nissan Senta sitting in our garage or out on the street as it's an extra car for but she doesn't want to sell it...and she doesn't mind us driving it). Jeannie had saved all the money to buy her new or used car (she had been looking at Audi A4's among other cars, but you can't get them with the diesel here in the states yet).

And so...over the last 2 months or so she has stepped up her online search for cars. She had stopped looking at Audi's, and was looking at VW Jetta sedans (the TDI diesel) used....2 years old or so. She had enough money to buy new, and that even with the Passat (which I steered her towards). I figure at this point in our life, and the fact that we keep cars a LONG time, that whatever she buys will be in our lives for a good portion of what's remaining...so make it a GOOD one.

About 2 weeks ago she found of all things a Passat TDI SEL Premium (that's the FULLY loaded version) right here in Santa Maria. It was a 2014 model, but had only been off the lot for 4 months, and had just a hair over 4000 miles on it. We went down and checked it out...immaculate! And it even had extras...the bad weather custom VW floormats (a $250 value), the special made trunk mat, the 18" super alloy wheels...I mean this baby was fantastic! I don't think I've been in a nicer car. It drove like a dream! A true luxury car, w/ a 6 speed automatic.  The engine is only .1 liter bigger than my little 03 Jetta wagon, but they've made a LOT of progress in those 11 years. This thing drives like a sports car! Yet it's SO quiet inside...you'd NEVER suspect it's a diesel (until you get 800 miles on a tank  at the rated 42mpg highway).

So after our test drive we chatted w/ the salesman and he did what he could, but they wouldn't come down to what Jeannie was willing to pay. So we walked away. Sometime on the next day I emailed her, as I had been thinking about it. Basicly they were selling it at about 6 to $7000 off of new. And as to why it was sitting used (for 4 months) in a Dodge dealership, here's the story: the man who bought it (had money) needed a nice car that gets good mileage to haul his aging mother back and forth to Arizona. So he bought the car, and less than 4 months later she dies. He no longer needs the car so trades it in on a nice new hugemongous Dodge diesel truck. So there this amazing and almost totally new car sits, selling for much less than it had 4 months earlier. I emailed Jeanine to call him and just make the deal, that she can take any extra over what she was willing to pay out of my mt bike fund (I'm saving to buy a niner mt bike, hopefully this year sometime). I thought it was a great deal on an AMAZING car, and we weren't likely to find another deal like it (very few cars that we find used to buy are anywhere near us).

Well...last Friday she emails me a link to another Passat...same loaded model, and it's down south somewhere (likely 3 to 4 hour drive each way). I asked her about the one here, and she told me it was sold. So about the one she l inked me to...it was selling for about the same price, only it's got over 12,000 miles on it. I tel her why bother...she didn't think the one HERE was a good deal, why pay the same amount for a car hours away with more miles? Then on Sat morning as I'm driving south to go Mt biking I was thinking about it. I was TOTALLY sure we (she) was going to have that car...the one we drove. I could SEE it...(I've had those little 'visions' off and on in my life, where I seem to know things that later come true...happened more than a few times). So when she told me it was sold I was upset and dismayed at my 'gift'...as it totally missed the mark. (way back when we were driving PG down to Ventura with her HULK leg I had "seen" her in my mind running around just fine w/ 3 legs...and after the surgery where they saved the leg I once agian figured I blew it...and then 4 months later we had to take the leg as the cancer came back...and here she is over a year later, totally fine, alpha in the pack, living large and in charge).

So....I was fuming some that she let THAT car go, and was thinking of telling her to stop sending me links as she doesn't even listen to what I say anyway, and she will do whatever she wants...so why ask me in the first place? As I open the garage door after my bike ride, lo and behold there sits a black Passat TDI SEL in the garage! I couldn't for the life of me figure it out....did she go down to the local VW place and drive one home for me to test drive? (I did that to her a few years back w/ a beautiful used Jetta TDI sedan...red, fully loaded...just beautiful...and she wasn't in the least interested so I drove it back). Then I see her peeking out the door at me, all smiles. I still don't get it...why is this car in our garage and where did it come from?

And she spills the story....yes, on Friday when she told me the car we drove was sold, it was....to HER! She called them back on Friday (she has Friday's off) and talked them down another few hundred and made the deal. She then went down on Saturday to pay them, and drove it home for me to be surprised with. And surprised I was! And overjoyed! You see, I'll most likely drive it more than she will...at least this next 8 years. I'd say it's the nicest car I've ever drove....just wonderful! And now here it is, in OUR garage...Woo-HOOO! We are living LARGE I tell you! A bulldog puppy, and now this amazing car! 

Here's Jeannies new car sitting in OUR garage! And thankfully it FITS! (I was a bit worried about that).

Life is good...that I can attest to. I still peek in the garage every now and then just to peer at this beast...(she says it's a girl...go figure...I'm surrounded by girls, always have been.....outvoted at EVERY turn by a longshot). But that's ok...she got me GOOD on this one! And my talent is still working well....I KNEW we would get that car...I had seen it.

OK...Sunday night...about time to clean up the "cottonfield" and then get ready for bed. (the cottonfield is where the babies are riping stuffing out of their playbox full of stuffed animals...little conttonball tufts of white poly stuff EVREYWHERE in the house).

And I'll leave you with one final shot of Sophie before I leave.

This was the Superbowl Budweiser ad where the puppy was lost and finding it's way home, trapped by wolves, and the Clydesdales come to the rescue. ANYTIME there is a dog on TV she simply goes CRAZY! She's up there barking at the puppy on the TV! (if you've ever seen the movie Riddick, and the strange giant hyena/dog thing he that befriends, Sophie goes ABSOLUTELY NUTS when that's on!)

She's doing real well...mostly just the Angel Sophie...and only sometimes "the Kracken". I bought a spray bottle of "bitter apple" which we will spray on Sydney...Sophie has chewed the tip of her tail pretty good (not much hair left there) and loves to chew on her neck and ears too when we aren't looking...so I've sprayed the stuff on Syd's tail/neck and ears...and we'll see if we can break her of that. Until then we can't leave her out during the work-day when we're gone...she torments poor Syd who can't defend herself, and she doesn't deserve that. So if this works we can leave her out now...she's pretty good about using the doggie doors to do her thing outside (every now and then she does her biz in the garage, but I won't go too nuts over that...it'sj ust something we'll work on...as long as it' s NOT in the house!)..., and she hasn't been destroying stuff other than her toys...so we are lucky there. So if she will just leave Syd alone then we are home free with the newest member of the pack.

And that's it for another week. Have a great one and stay warm!

Cheers!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Kracken grows!

Who would have thought that when we brought home a puppy, that in reality she was a little baby Kracken!

Yes, Sophie the Victorian (aka Old English) bulldog pup is in reality a mythical monster. At least part of the time...the rest of the time she's the sweetest, cutest, and most amazing little puppy we could wish for.

When she's the Kracken the house is pure madness...multiple dogs growling/barking/running around (most of the running is Sophie, sometimes being chased by PG trying to boss her around). She gets into the play mode and there's just no letting up, right up until she drops for a nap. It's almost like a light-switch. One moment it's Kracken...then "click"...it's Sophie. We relish the Sophie times, and survive the Kracken times. But she's growing pretty quick (she weighed 23lbs when we brought her home just before Christmas, and she's right at 30 now just a month later...holding to about 3 pounds every 2 weeks. Her birthday is August 31st...so she's coming up on 5 months old. She's definitely bigger when we compare to her older sisters. It's going to be quite interesting as she gets closer to full size (and the bark/growl)...what will the pack dynamic be then? Will she challenge PG for leadership? We hope not...we're afraid she'd have to kill PG to take that away...she's quite spoiled (PG).

But anyway...here's a couple MORE Sophie pictures (I can year you all groaning, knowing you're in for years of Sophie pics on a regular basis).


 No matter what she did, you simply CAN'T stay mad at her for long!


Jeannie making a full-on Turkey dinner for New Years, with her pack of help

 Sophie letting us know it's dinner time (that's her bowls on top of the crate with some extra blankets)
 
 You can see how big she's getting in comparison to PG

And here's another sleeping shot...when she crashes, she crashes HARD! That's one played out Kracken!

 Here he Kracken peers over the top of Jeannie's chair, looking for where
she can inject mayhem and madness into our lives.

And so...life is just a blur right now, work, home, Kracken and babies. Thankfully our April launch has been pushed out a few months so we get a break and did NOT jump right back into full on launch prep mode as soon as we reported back after the Holidays. Gives us (me) time to catch my breath, get re-acquainted with my bikes (which I had almost forgotten what they looked like), AND start back up working on the house/yard. Jeannie is still after me to paint the entire interior...I'm putting it off as long as I can, as that will wipe me out and take weeks (of MY spare time).

OK...I'm out of here, it's dinner time. Hope your winter is mild and passing quickly...as we ALL await the March time-change that signifies it's time to get warm again (not that we can complain too much on that score...we're having some downright nice weather ever since the Holidays).

Cheers!